THIS WEEK'S QUESTION:

The presidents of SUNY Potsdam and Canton say they are excited and preparing for the rollout of the Excelsior Scholarship, despite many unknowns, while the presidents of Clarkson and St. Lawrence universities are not talking about it.The controversial state scholarship program offers taxpayer-subsidized SUNY tuition to middle class students whose tuition costs are not covered by the federal Pell Grant and the state Tuition Assistance Program (TAP). It was recently approved as part of the 2017-18 New York state budget. For more, see story. http://northcountrynow.com/news/suny-potsdam-and-canton-excited-about-ta...

Will you or anyone in your home likely apply for the Excelsior Scholarship?

Take the NCNow Survey

Results will be posted, May 1.

LAST WEEK'S QUESTION:

St. Lawrence County Legislator John Burke, R-Norfolk, wants to prohibit the sale of tobacco products for those under 21, but County Legislative Chair Kevin Acres, R-Madrid, says the proposed law is “government overreach.” St. Lawrence County legislators agreed to hold a public hearing in June on a resolution that would raise the age requirement on purchasing tobacco products. Burke says the law would include prohibition of sales of e-cigarettes to those under 21 as well.

Do you support this legislation?

57.2% -- No

40.2% -- Yes

2.7% -- Other

Total Responses: 376

Comments: 159

Here are your comments:

We have too much government in our lives now. Smoke it you want, when you want. Die if you want. It's your life.

April 23 11:54 p.m.

Prohibit the sale of all tobacco produces, it costs all of us money.

April 23 9:06 p.m.

Despite the fact that I do not drink or smoke, it is difficult to swallow the idea that people are considered adult enough at the age of 18 to join the service and serve their country, a choice regarding their own bodies. It is even more difficult when a person can be drafted against their will at the age of 18, yet we must create laws dictating when a person can actually decide what they want to do with their own bodies regarding these chemical habits. All of the above are dangerous, yet one of these things is perfectly fine at the age of 18. Isn't this just a bunch of absurdity? Old enough for one, old enough for all of those things. What kind of message does it send when we say to our young adults, "Yes, join the service, you are an adult now and can decide what risks you are willing to take with your life and body, but no, you aren't adult enough to drink or smoke or even decide if that is something you would like to risk your life with as well until a few more years down the road." HMMMMMMM, pretty twisted.

April 23 8:22 p.m.

What do the great Democrats have to say about it? Nothing of course, they have done nothing except try to give your tax money to illegals in our country by paying for their housing, food, schooling and college yet your children can't afford college because you have a job! See the light people. Republicans are there for you!

April 23 8:00 p.m.

It's bad enough our service men can't have a beer on vacation; now you want to tell them they can't smoke? Stop getting into everyone's life!

April 23 7:15 p.m.

I applaud the job you're all doing, and am sure that you have constructive intentions for your constituents, but being a senior citizen and a former USMC veteran, other issues might be more prioritized on your docket, rather than the purchase of cigarettes to already of-aged adults. Maybe more attention to military subsidized transportation fundings to our appointments has been an ongoing problem and in todays medical facilities it's made to be such an upsetting chore for them to reschedule appointments since in reality "it's more of a business now." especially with specialists, and it seems we are to be treated more like a number than a person! The street drug sales is more ongoing especially at night, in neighborhoods ironically close to the police department and my friends and I have had to walk our dogs earlier to avoid intimidation slurs from "druggie porch sitters" (and in all honesty, for any former veteran to be uncomfortable in situations of that, is not a natural emotion that is in-grained in us). All issues of today are important, but we called it "triage categories" in the medic setting in the field. Keep up the good work and the business at hand.

April 23 6:05 p.m.

If you can give your life for your country at 17 and 18, smoking is your choice. I don't recommend smoking, but it should be free choice

April 23 6:02 p.m.

I think the county legislature has more pressing matters to concern themselves. The issue is much like alcohol: Minors will find a way to skirt the issue.

April 23 5:01 p.m.

It is amazing that everyone wants to stop people from smoking, but want to legalize marijuana.

April 23 3:43 p.m.

If you can join the military at 18, get married at 18, then you should be able to smoke and drink at 18.

April 23 10:04 a.m.

Prohibitions of all sorts have never worked, can't legislate common sense. While I am at it, walls never worked either.

April 23 8:41 a.m.

Criminalizing people who abuse their bodies is not a legitimate function of government.

April 23 7:38 a.m.

Dont send kids under 18 to war either, or let them vote.

April 23 6:45 a.m.

I don't smoke and I am a mother, but I think there's better things to concentrate on.

April 23 5:00 a.m.

Dey took our jobs.

April 22 10:02 p.m.

Mr. Burke is no smarter now then when he was at the hospital. Is there anybody out there that has concerns for the important things in life other then worrying about a person being 18 or 21. No wonder our society is a mess.

April 22 8:30 p.m.

Sounds like protecting young people from the lures of smoking. That's a good thing, although some schools back in the eighties had a smoking area for students, I am sure Legislator Acres can attest to that.

April 22 8:16 p.m.

Eighteen-year-olds are adults who should have the liberty to make their own choices. If they choose to poison their bodies knowing the effects of smoking, it is their perogative. Unlike alcohol, where use could result in an auto accident, there is little risk to others. Stop trying to take freedom and liberty away from us and treat 18+ as the adults that they should be.

April 22 6:50 p.m.

Enough legislation on people's choices! There are important issues to be working on. This is not one!

April 22 6:10 p.m.

Is Burke a Republican in name only (RINO)? Is Legislator Burke unaware that reaching age 18 years makes one eligible to be drafted into the military? Is Legislator Burke unaware that the legal age to vote in our local, state and federal elections is 18 years? Hopefully, Legislator Acres' common sense will prevail over Burke's insanity! Vote Burke out of office ASAP!

April 22 2:54 p.m.

Enough of Nanny Burke. Keep your free Medicaid. Don't tell me what to do. If he doesn't get the connection, maybe someone can help him.

April 22 12:52 p.m.

This is a gateway law that will lead to a proliferation of penalties for 18-20 year olds and an increase in taxes to cover the application of the penalties. Moreover, law enforcement has enough to do without playing nanny to teenagers.

April 22 10:23 a.m.

Legalize the green.

April 22 9:22 a.m.

Legislators need to legislate, not baby sit!

April 22 9:22 a.m.

Then raise the draft to 21 or enlistment. Tit for tat.

April 22 9:20 a.m.

With the mountain of evidence against tobacco use, it's obvious its a habit which costs individuals and society dearly. Not only do individuals suffer multiple health problems, but our health system expends billions on tobacco-related disease treatment. High taxes and raising the purchase age to 21 is a start, but not a solution. Legal tobacco use needs to be eliminated entirely. Here's a proposal which will cause legal tobacco use to become extinct, while preserving the ability of those with the habit to get their products. The purchase age for tobacco products should be raised by one year EACH YEAR. This year, 21, next year 22, etc. In that way the age for purchase will eventually be far beyond anyone young starting. In the meantime, those with the habit may still purchase their smokes. Also, the slow change will allow tobacco farmers and processors time to find other cash crops and products.

April 22 9:16 a.m.

Smoking causes cancer and also when someone else smokes everyone else has to breath it in! That is why I have asthma and it sucks from my former work place!

April 22 8:41 a.m.

You can drive a car and text at 16, or fight for our country in the military at 18, but not smoke until 21? When is goverment going to realize that regulation isn't the answer? Let people make there own choices, they will live with the consequences.

April 22 8:29 a.m.

They can go to a war zone at 18 an get killed and thats ok. You figure it out.

April 22 8:14 a.m.

Who could not think this is a great progressive idea?

April 22 8:13 a.m.

I think we have other issues that these mental midgets should be looking at. High taxes and no jobs might be a starting point.

April 22 7:07 a.m.

Is he willing to up the age to register for the draft also.

April 22 4:39 a.m.

If we truly want to stop tobacco use, then drop all of the taxes and restrictions and just make it okay for insurance companies to decline treatment for lung cancer caused by smoking. After a couple of generations this issue will have taken care of itself. Everyone already knows smoking kills you, and people still do it. Let them. It will fix itself.

April 22 4:13 a.m.

Fight and die for your country but don't you dare smoke!

April 22 12:11 a.m.

I have a lot of respect for the present county legislators, and I feel they work very hard to improve the largest county in NY state, but would rather see them focusing more on issues facing their constituents i.e. local criminal drug manufacturing and sales on our streets, also mandated landlord property rental inspections appropriate for personal dwellings, and tighter "watchdog" restrictions on welfare applicants who benefit on their unreported fraudulent incomes who are already being subsidized for food, rental, and child care expenses, among other public issues. Of course age of tobacco sales are important, but this is such a "so yesterday topic" which is really moot especially to an adult at that age. As the saying goes “if you're going to pick your battles make sure when you win, they're constructive to all.”

April 21 8:52 p.m.

It's kind of foolish when the cheapest cigarettes around are on the Rez in Franklin County. Kids will just go there to get them if they want them bad enough.

April 21 3:42 p.m.

Limiting easy availability will result in saving many people from addiction and resulting health issues. I'm a smoker and know the bad effects. Don't smoke!

April 21 8:45 a.m.

Yes yes yes, enough said!

April 21 7:52 a.m.

Old enough to fight and die for you're country, then you are old to drink a beer and have a smoke.

April 21 7:21 a.m.

I think the drinking age should be lowered. Eighteen is considered adult and there are many adult experiences between 18 and 21.

April 21 7:16 a.m.

No, I do not support this legislation. No one should smoke, but legislators are trying to control too much. This is parent’s job which they need to start doing better.

April 21 6:51 a.m.

Of course it's government overreach. But so is using my tax dollars to support the expensive health care that comes with drug abuse, and make no mistake, cigarette use is drug abuse. Choose to smoke, pay your own medical bills.

April 21 6:36 a.m.

Fire all of those legislators that stick their nose in everyone else business!

April 21 6:30 a.m.

Waste of time and money! If at the age of 18 you can vote, graduate and go to college, and or service our country, John Burke, pick a battle worth fighting. If they want to smoke or buy tobacco products they are going to do so. Don't waste time on this, there are other issues like… hmm let me help you… the heroin issue and rising drug problem in the North Country. Now that is a battle worth fighting.

April 20 10:46 p.m.

Make it the same as drinking; they'll find a way, but at least it will be a crime. If they have to wait until they are older, maybe they won't start at all. Put the tobacco companies out of business! :-)

April 20 8:57 p.m.

Just another regulation for merchants! Those under 21 will smoke if they want to anyway. Education is best not regulation

April 20 8:17 p.m.

I think you legislators have a bit more to worry about. Concentrate on the problems within your own government and county offices!

April 20 7:43 p.m.

No: It's a waste of time and money, money from our taxes. This isn't enforced now. Kids as young as ten get cigarettes easily enough, and at the age of 13 are smoking more routinely too. They get the cigarettes and waste tons of money on them to boot, but raising the age to buy them just will not make that much difference and is unenforceable anyway. And I'll be damned if I have to pay more taxes just to keep them from smoking. The answer is to possibly make buying cigs require a signature and some form of identification, but not using my tax dollars! No more taxes, especially for such things as smoking cigs when kids can also get drugs, including the addictive ones so easily! These people have lost track of how to prioritize and only want to do the "easy" stuff; get them up off their butts and start with the worst cases first. Stamp out all of the illegal drugs! Go after the kingpins with all the money! Damned, myopic fools, every one of them proposing this!

April 20 7:35 p.m.

The only good thing about tobacco is that it can be taxed. I would much rather pay higher taxes than have the county get money this way. More money in the area is always a good thing, but look at the cost. We lose so many people to tobacco use and no one who's getting tobacco or getting addicted to nicotine that will lead to later tobacco use now cares about that. They will only care about it when it starts to ruin their health. It's hard enough to be 60 and tobacco to start killing you, it can be unimaginable when you are still at an age when you think you should still be healthy. The longer we can postpone the effects and use of any sort of an addictive substance, the better.

April 20 6:18 p.m.

Tobacco and alcohol should be the same age. Although I don't understand why you can join the military and not be old enough to drink a beer.

April 20 5:24 p.m.

Why another stupid law. They are old enough to die for our country at 18. More kids busted and having records at a young age. Then go nowhere. C-mon man. Work on creating jobs. Burke, I'm a Republican and you’re useless.

April 20 5:22 p.m.

Only if you raise the age in which you have to pay taxes also. Another dumb idea from people who don't have a clue.

April 20 5:10 p.m.

Give me a break. Let the state or the federal government handle age requirements for alcohol and cigarettes. Let me know how that works. We already are losing tax dollars, when this would happen, the sales tax dollars would drop even more. Do the legislators get paid more money for making resolutions?

April 20 4:11 p.m.

No doubt smoking is bad for you, but I feel like this is just another way to keep letting adults be children.

April 20 3:35 p.m.

People need to be charged by the law if giving cigarettes to minors. Also if they see kids smoking take cigarettes away.

April 20 2:25 p.m.

The illness caused by smoking is drain on the economy and a source of unnecessary suffering.

April 20 1:26 p.m.

Burke needs to pull his head out of his a**. Ban it all you want in St Lawrence County. People will just go to the next county over. Sounds like something Cuomo would try to do.

April 20 1:07 p.m.

A person responsible enough to die and vote for their country should not have to have the government say they are to young to smoke or not.

April 20 12:44 p.m.

Mr. Burke should be reminded that his title is representative, not dictator.

April 20 10:54 a.m.

St Lawrence County has way bigger problems to worry about than some kid buying a pack of cigarettes like drugs, aging infrastructure, job loss, declining population, etc. Government could care less about smokers. All they're worried about is the cost that is incurred by them through healthcare. Government needs to stay out of our personal lives. Maybe they should raise the age of adulthood to 21.

April 20 7:46 a.m.

Nicotine is an addicting drug. The public health effects of tobacco smoke are devastating over time. If I had my way, nicotine would be banned as an illegal drug.

April 20 5:57 a.m.

I'm against young people smoking at an early age, but it's on the individual to do their own research. We don't need more government over-reach.

April 20 1:11 a.m.

No! Leave the purchasing age alone. If a person can vote, and join the military, they can decide if they want to smoke. "Keep the legislators out of our lives."

April 19 8:08 p.m.

I do not smoke, but I did many years ago. A short while ago, I would have said this is a good law, but now I feel government is passing laws to control the people. Too many laws! They keep taking things from "The People!" Where and when will it end?

April 19 7:56 p.m.

There are more important things to be addressed. Legalize pot for one and all!

April 19 6:33 p.m.

Government has its own problems.

April 19 4:51 p.m.

If you can get drafted you should be old enough to have a beer and a smoke, and lets legalize pot! I think they should concentrate on important issues.

April 19 4:26 p.m.

So they can murder for the government overseas at 18, but God forbid they have a smoke...FAIL.

April 19 2:50 p.m.

Too much government. Keep your business out of our lives

April 19 2:17 p.m.

If they can fight for our country at 18 they should be able to purchase what they want at that age.

April 19 2:17 p.m.

Not unless you raise the age to be drafted as well!

April 19 2:15 p.m.

This is absolutely crazy. Stop this in it's tracks before it makes it's way to being law.

April 19 1:38 p.m.

We all know tthat "kids" make stupid decisions. If we can delay the start of this deadly habit maybe fewer young adults will feel the peer pressure to begin. However, if they want them, they'll get them unlawfully.

April 19 12:15 p.m.

I don't think anyone at all should smoke, and I wish everyone could/would quit. I know people who died from it. At the same time, 18 is the age of adulthood in the United States. If someone is considered old enough to fight for their country, they should have the right to make their own decision about smoking.

April 19 11:44 a.m.

They can be drafted and vote at 18.

April 19 11:40 a.m.

The argument often given over the course of time was that the tender age of 18 was immature when it came to making decisions surrounding the consumption of alcohol and even voting. It now comes to pass that my legislator wishes to add tobacco use to that list. Remember that at age 18 you can still enlist in the military and offer your life for sacrifice in defense of the same country that will at least let you vote but does not feel you competent or intelligent enough to make decisions in regards to alcohol or tobacco. I would suggest that government overreach is too polite a term to be used in regards to this issue. My description of this idea is hypocritical. If you wish to move the age to which common sense decisions and choices to 21 then start with service to country and work from there. Isn't there something that can be said when you can serve and die for your country but it would be illegal to purchase a tobacco item. My classmates who made the supreme sacrifice in Vietnam did not serve and die for a politician to propose that others of a different generation would have their rights taken away,

April 19 8:48 a.m.

Kevin Acres is typical Republican against anything sensible or Democratic ideas. He needs to go like Trump.

April 19 7:32 a.m.

I probably wouldn't have COPD if I hadn't smoked. Nobody needs it. It's a terrible habit.

April 19 6:14 a.m.

Eighteen years old. You can vote for president. Join the armed forces. Drive an automobile. Be tried as an adult. Pay taxes. But thanks to ridiculous, feel-good, special interest political legislation, you can't have a drink? Now they decide you can't have a smoke? An 18-year-old can choose who lives and dies in armed conflict, but can't make a personal decision to use tobacco. Over-reach is to tame a description.

April 19 6:06 a.m.

There are already far too many people in the world and our natural population limiters, like disease and war, can't keep up with the growth. Human beings have become fat, healthy little piggies. If some moron wants to take up smoking and shorten his life span, checking out early and leaving more space and resources for the rest of us, then who are we to stop him. By choosing to smoke he/she is demonstrating some semblence of cooperation with society, even given their obviously lower IQ and lack of willpower, by cleaning out the gene pool. Tobacco may just get us to the stars yet. Just think of it, all the idiots gone, leaving only the intelligent. We might just cure cancer even though it may take care of itself.

April 19 1:19 a.m.

Definitely, I do support this legislation, and I feel SLC legislators who are against this are very wrong!

April 18 11:28 p.m.

Stupid!

April 18 9:27 p.m.

Push it up to 35, and double the taxes. Then accept donations from big tobacco Dems.

April 18 7:41 p.m.

Why don't you people in government stop making a bunch of feel good laws, and actually do something to put people to work. If you want to make laws, why don't you make one for drug dealers. If you are caught dealing, you are locked up for life and we throw away the key. Now that would start to clean up this county and help everyone's health .

April 18 6:48 p.m.

I feel the same way I do with alcohol. If you are old enough to go to a foreign country and die in a stupid war, you should be able to smoke if you want to; 18 for both drinking and smoking!

April 18 5:50 p.m.

I agree that it is government overreach.

April 18 3:40 p.m.

The tax on cigarettes should go up, too!

April 18 3:24 p.m.

Stay out of people's lives.

April 18 3:21 p.m.

If you can die for your country, you can do what you wan. Screw this idiot, and I am a non smoker.

April 18 3:05 p.m.

At 18 you're considered, by law, to be an adult. As such, you should be entitled to all the pros and cons of adulthood. I would argue further that in today's world, most 18 year olds are not adults, and as such the legal age of adulthood should be raised to 21. However, we need to abide by the laws that are on the books. At 18 years old you should be able to buy a pack of smokes.

April 18 2:41 p.m.

Smoking is a public health problem anything to curb the use of tobacco is good idea. Raising the age limit to 21 will limit the exposure teenagers get to smoke.

April 18 1:11 p.m.

The average age of a new smoker is 13 years old, the legal buying age is 18. If children are getting tobacco now raising the legal age isn't going to do any good. It isn't going to stop or help the underlying problem.

April 18 12:59 p.m.

Doesn't Mr. Burke know we don't need more laws.

April 18 12:41 p.m.

Another useless law that will not make a difference. Are you sure this legislator is Republican and not a Democrat?

April 18 12:18 p.m.

Why does the county legislature feel the need to make laws that amount to nothing. So these people under 21 will go to Franklin and get their tobacco products. Why don't the legislators work on fixing the county instead of taking away peoples rights. I can go in the service and get shot for my country but I can't buy tobacco products. Makes sense to me

April 18 11:57 a.m.

This will create crime where there is none and will send the younger buyers to other businesses in neighboring counties.

April 18 11:37 a.m.

First, I am not a smoker. I think this is nothing more than government stepping in where they do not belong. The legislators need to address the real problems of this county, not whether someone can buy tobacco products.

April 18 11:27 a.m.

Not unless you also raise the legal age to vote, get married, and join the service.

April 18 10:56 a.m.

Stop trying to over reach your power. It should be done by the state if then.

April 18 10:53 a.m.

More government uneducated attempt of control. If a person is able to vote and go to war for this country, there is no reason, unless you are an idiot, to increase the age to 21. They should also be able to buy alcohol at the age of 18. Legislators, get off your high horses.

April 18 10:20 a.m.

Absolutely!

April 18 10:16 a.m.

Could we please put our efforts more towards creating jobs in this county. Come on.

April 18 10:14 a.m.

Get to work on the real problems in St Lawrence County.

April 18 9:54 a.m.

Tobacco causes cancer and should be illegal.

April 18 9:01 a.m.

Look, it's simple. Murica needs leaders who support smokin, drinkin, gas combustin and big sodas. Elections and polls have proved that we've had a bellyfull of healthy food, sustainable energy and ecological protections. Coal, cigarettes, and scratchoffs are cheap and easy ways for me to spend my SSI money and my grandfather went right along with Ulysses E. Lee to put a flag on Hiroshima to give me that rights. Trump!

April 18 8:56 a.m.

Another way of taking away our rights. I can join the Army fight for my country get killed in the line of duty but can’t drink and know they wanna take smoking away too. Just plain B.S. Good ole New York State.

April 18 8:46 a.m.

You can not legislate intelligence.

April 18 8:41 a.m.

Anything to prevent nicotine addiction for anyone. Smoking is simply a nasty, unhealthy and very expensive habit to be avoided.

April 18 8:28 a.m.

No, if you can drink and smoke for your country at 18, than it is a choice it should be a smart one but still a choice

April 18 8:26 a.m.

I do not like smoking, but, again, not everything can be legislated.

April 18 8:03 a.m.

Government get out of our lives, and stay out!

April 18 6:11 a.m.

Burke ran as a Republican but acts like a Democrat. You will not have my vote again, John.

April 18 3:59 a.m.

Too much over-reach now in system If an 18-year-old can vote/join military sign contracts, etc. than this going too far restricting personal life choices.

April 18 3:27 a.m.

I feel police should be outside of OFA when all the under 18 kids are smoking across the street and arrest them just like under age drinking. Liberals wouldn’t go for that, right Mr. Acres.

April 18 12:22 a.m.

No. Is this just another way for the county legislators to bleed money by using the health department's backing? First the home health agency's closure and then they give them a supervisor who gets put on leave nearly a year into the job. This 21 enforcement will just try to nail the small stores who are already struggling during stings and forgetting that the stupid county raised the age. DUMB.

April 17 9:52 p.m.

If a person can join the armed forces, and be sent into battle at the age of 18, then they should also be able to smoke, and drink at the age of 18. I'm not a smoker, but government has already gone too far.

April 17 8:16 p.m.

Most of the kids who smoke are from career welfare parents. The same people who can't afford to buy food but somehow have money for cigarettes. Oh yeah, they go to all the food banks and free dinners that charities have to offer, and let's not forget good ole SNAP cards.

April 17 7:40 p.m.

Yes! This is a no-brainer! Cigarettes are a proven killer and a horribly addictive gateway substance. Stopping easy access for kids is a public health matter and is not government over-reach.

April 17 6:44 p.m.

No. People are adults at 18 and can serve in the military and vote. They should be able to buy legal drugs like tobacco and alcohol. Alternatively, if they want to ban sales of tobacco to under 21, then they need to add a possession law to really try to catch them all!

April 17 5:53 p.m.

More important issues.

April 17 5:18 p.m.

What is wrong with Kevin. Get rid of tobacco products any way you can. We all love our children!

April 17 4:31 p.m.

This county has was more to worry about than that. Kids will just find another way. It's no wonder our kids get the heck out of here shortly after graduation.

April 17 4:08 p.m.

At 18 we were able to fight for our country and drink booze, but not able to vote. What the heck is going on? Now we can’t smoke? Something’s wrong with this picture?

April 17 3:45 p.m.

Kevin Acres is right and I'm glad he’s my representative. The government doesn't need to be in every facet of our lives. When will people learn that the government isn't the solution to everything.

April 17 3:25 p.m.

Just enforce the laws we had.

April 17 3:19 p.m.

Are you saying an 18-year-old can die for his country, but not be able to buy a cigarette because it might kill him?

April 17 3:18 p.m.

This group of legislators doesn't understand what their mission is. They would rather tilt at windmills than focus on the issues they were elected to address. The worst BOL ever!

April 17 2:49 p.m.

No. It's a stupid law anyway and is broken on a daily basis based on the number of 10- to 18-year-olds we see smoking around here. Looks like a lot of Trumpsters' living around here!

April 17 2:38 p.m.

If our men and women can fight for our country at the age of 17 then they should be allowed to purchase cigs and booze also. Stopo wasting tax payers money on this crap.

April 17 1:26 p.m.

Yes, tobacco use is one of the key contributors to poor health in the North Country. Reducing exposure to tobacco by our young people can only help in reducing use in later years.

April 17 1:04 p.m.

I'm an ex smoker and I don't agree with this. You can go to war and die for our country, you should be able to smoke too, besides they can go to the Indian reservation and buy them.

April 17 1:04 p.m.

If it stops one child from smoking it's worth it.

April 17 1:00 p.m.

Send him to war! No, he can't buy cigarettes! That would be absurd.

April 17 12:58 p.m.

Its a state matter not a local one

April 17 12:41 p.m.

E-cigarettes have not been proven harmful, but greedy legislators want to tax them as they did with tobacco. Banning smoking indoors merely drives the smokers outdoors. New York State is taxed enough already at every twist and turn. No wonder people leave the area.

April 17 12:17 p.m.

If you can fight for your country at 18 and are man or woman enough to do it, you can make the decision about what goes into your own body. I know some people that say they wouldn't eat that or they would never smoke or drink then go around and sleep with multiple partners. You are in charge of what goes into your own body. Nobody should tell someone else what to do because absolutely nobody is perfect. I know only Republicans are mentioned, but Liberals seem to be the biggest hypocrites. Look at yourself before trying to judge what you think is best for others. Just goes to show there are a bunch of educated idiots that if they didn't tell you they had an education, you would never know.

April 17 12:09 p.m.

Eighteen to vote or join military but 21 to smoke?

April 17 12:03 p.m.

As long as military draft age is changed to 21.

April 17 12:01 p.m.

If they can go to war at 18 they can buy cancer sticks.

April 17 11:52 a.m.

With this type of legislation you are not actually "raising" the smoking age, if kids want to smoke they are going to smoke no matter the age limit. In this case you are just making it more appealing to kids because it is something they aren't allowed to do "legally" in the eyes of the government.

April 17 11:41 a.m.

While you're at it, why not raise the voting age, the draft age and the age to get a marriage or drivers license? Just mind your own freaking business.

April 17 11:39 a.m.

More government B.S. Soon they will tell you when you can take a crap.

April 17 11:11 a.m.

John needs to get his head out of his butt. More people will start smoking because they’re getting away with it, if changed to 21. Open your eyes, if it's legal then it's no fun.

April 17 11:07 a.m.

To each his own.

April 17 10:46 a.m.

I agree with Kevin Acres comment “government overreach." The government should not have to do what the families should be doing. It is not, or shouldn't have to be the government to regulate our children. The health and welfare of our children should begin at home, not be regulated by our government.

April 17 10:40 a.m.

You can go fight for your country at 18. This proposal is just dumb

April 17 10:14 a.m.

Smoking related illnesses are also a big driver of Medicare and Medicaid related expenses. Maybe if we can reduce the number of smokers even a little we can eventually reduce the cost of smoking-related health issues.

April 17 10:09 a.m.

Eighteen is the age of maturity and when our kids should be considered adults. Old enough to fight and vote then should be old enough to smoke and drink and be responsible for their own actions. Otherwise raise the age of adulthood to 30, so our kids can stay mommy’s and daddy’s little babies forever. Government over-reach is out of control in our country of snowflakes. Bring it back to 18.

April 17 9:51 a.m.

Why don't they change it to 50 years old or outlaw cigarettes and e-cigarettes altogether.

April 17 9:47 a.m.

And then enforce it.

April 17 9:32 a.m.

This is ridiculous. An 18-year-old can vote, can enlist, should be able to do anything any other citizen can do. This legislation is idiotic, and Legislator Burke should resign and stay at home. (Note: I'm 57 years old.)

April 17 9:29 a.m.

We send 18-year-old kids to war, but they can't smoke? We should also lower the drinking age to 18.

April 17 9:16 a.m.

Just another dumb way for the county to try to make some quick cash on stings. Now I know why they decided to bring back the public health director after a month-long paid vacation. Probably just another yes man that the legislators can keep in their pockets.

April 17 9:15 a.m.

Clearly over-reach. John Burke is who he is and needs to focus on the real issues of our county.

April 17 9:04 a.m.

These legislators are just wasting people's time. If you raise the age, the tobacco will just be purchased elsewhere. Legislators need to focus on reducing the county's expenses and high taxes.

April 17 8:59 a.m.

Government over-reach.

April 17 8:53 a.m.

The main reason I support this is to prevent these products from getting into the hands of those under the age of 18. When 18-year-olds are able to purchase it, it is very easy for them to share with those in high school (and even younger). If the smoking age can be delayed then chronic use is likely also to be decreased cutting into the diseases arising from its use. These illnesses raise health care costs for all of use, smokers or not, and cause long term effects to not only the users but passive household members, too.

April 17 8:50 a.m.

When does government stop controlling every facet of our life? Where, exactly, do we draw the line? St. Lawrence County should not be involved in attempting to raise the age of purchase. While commendable to attempt a decrease in tobacco usage, this is the wrong way to go about it.